A WELL-KNOWN Clacks photographer is celebrating six decades of marriage with his loving wife.

Jannie van der Merwe, better known to most in the Wee County as Jan the photographer, marked the diamond wedding anniversary with wife Margaret, nee Paterson, on Thursday, June 20.

Having met when both served as teachers at the former Forebraes School, Jan wasted no time in popping the big question within just three months.

And he has been under the spell of Margaret, originally from Tillicoultry, ever since.

At the time, she worked as a domestic science teacher while Jan, who hails from South Africa, taught geography.

The couple, who live in Dollar, have three sons and a daughter while also being proud grandparents to three granddaughters.

Margaret and Jan tied the knot at Tillicoultry Parish Church in 1964 and would travel straight to Edinburgh, heading to London the next day to eventually catch the Union Castle liner to Cape Town.

For a decade until 1974, the young couple would stay in South Africa where they had the children and where Jan would become a lecturer.

Moving back to the UK, he would go on to teach at Grangemouth High School for a few years before a change in career to become the full-time photographer many know him as today.

Margaret and Jan then ran a photography studio and gift shop in Tillicoultry before she opened the then much-loved Eats and Treats in Alloa, which is understood to have been very popular at the time.

Indeed, Jan said people still stop the couple on the street, asking for more of Margaret’s lovely food.

Jan would move his photography business to the High Street of Alloa around the time he began freelancing for the Advertiser, which lasted for more than four decades.

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Over the years, Jan would capture important and memorable moments on camera at countless weddings and events in and around Clackmannanshire while he also took on commercial work.

Speaking on the secret to a long marriage, the snapper said: “We’ve done so much together over the years, we’ve been to America, France, Italy, South Africa about 20 times, we really had a good time.

“There have been a lot of highlights.”

Margaret and Jan, 80 and 87, celebrated the milestone with family and friends as they marked 60 years since the big wedding day.